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Riverbend Maximum Visitation Center

State Prison

Last Updated: September 16,2021

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Covid Visitation Information

Visitation is currently SUSPENDED at all Tennessee Prisons across the state.

Out of an abundance of caution and to protect what we consider a vulnerable population, the TDOC made the decision to suspend visitation until further notice. This decision is being re-evaluated daily and based on current updates of the COVID-19 impact in Tennessee.

Out of an abundance of caution and to protect what we consider a vulnerable population, the TDOC made the decision to suspend visitation until further notice. This decision is being re-evaluated daily and based on current updates of the COVID-19 impact in Tennessee.


General Visitation Information

TN DOC - Riverbend Maximum Security Institution (RMSI) - Visitation

Contact Days/Hours:

  • Monday and Friday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.

PROCESSING OF VISITATION APPLICATIONS:
Prospective visitors shall complete and return a visitation application with a current photograph to the institution via mail to:

Associate Warden of Security Riverbend Maximum Security Institution
7475 Cockrill Bend Boulevard Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0471
Applications shall be approved or denied within thirty (30) days of receipt. Visitation staff will notify the offender of the decision. It is the inmate’s responsibility to notify their prospective visitor of the decision regarding their visitation application.

The Warden/designee at his or her discretion shall approve or deny applications based on the following criteria:

A. All immediate family members who apply and (8) additional adults which include applicants 16 years of age and older, may be approved to visit an inmate upon receipt of CR-2152, Visitation Application. Immediate family is defined as mother, father, husband, wife, children, grandchildren, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, half-siblings, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law. Stepparents may also be considered within this definition. Stepchildren may also be considered immediate family if the offender and his/her spouse where married prior to the current incarceration and the spouse’s children were minors who resided in the home, shared by the inmate and spouse, on a regular basis at the time of incarceration.
B. All visitors regardless of age; are required to have a completed, and approved application on file. Children age 6 and older shall have a photograph (not a photocopy) attached to their visitation application. These photographs will be updated at ages 10, 14, and 18. Updated photographs may be requested more frequently if significant changes occur in the child’s appearance. Children under 18 years of age may visit provided they are accompanied by their parent legal guardian, or guardian who is also on the inmate’s approved visiting list.
C. Persons determined by the Warden/designee, who could have a harmful influence on the inmate and/or may constitute a threat to the security of the institution, shall not be approved for visitation.
D. The following will apply for persons with past criminal felony convictions:

1. Immediate family members with active felony conviction records may submit a visitation application for approval six (6) months following release from incarceration or placement on probation/community corrections or parole supervision (written consent of supervising personnel is required).
2. The Warden may disapprove visitation applications of immediate family members with felony convictions if it is believed that the security of the institution or safety of individuals could be jeopardized.

E. The following applies to former employees:

1. Current or former employees of TDOC, TRICOR, contract agencies (in Tennessee), interns, and practicum students shall not be approved unless they are immediate family members of the inmate.

2. Former TDOC employees, on visitation lists as of October 1, 1998, shall be allowed to remain on the list.

a) If the person’s separation from TDOC was due to a violation of state law, e.g., trafficking in contraband whether or not prosecution occurred, visitation requests will not be considered, even if the employee has become an immediate family member.
b) If the person’s separation from TDOC was the result of a violation of TDOC Policy #305.03 “Employee/Offender Interaction”, visitation will not be considered, even if that individual has become an immediate family member.
c) If the person’s separation from TDOC was voluntary and not due to the events described in (a) and (b), the individual may submit an application for consideration after 48 months from the date of TDOC separation.
d) If a person’s separation from TDOC was completely voluntary with no policy violation and the person is currently married to the inmate, visitation requests shall also not be considered for a period of 12 months from the date of the marriage to the inmate, or for a period of 48 months from the date of TDOC separation. If the former employee worked at the facility where visitation would occur, visitation will not be allowed.

3. All sections of the CR-2152, visitation application shall be completed. If any falsification occurs, the applicant shall not be allowed to resubmit the form for a minimum of six (6) months.
4. Person’s participating, or those who have participated as a volunteer, may be considered for visitation approval following a period of twenty-four (24) months from the conclusion of the volunteer work.
5. Visitors may not be placed on more than one (1) inmate’s visitation list unless the inmates are immediate family members of the visitor and the relationship can be determined.
6. The Warden shall impose a waiting period of (1) year to review the application of visitors who have been removed from an offender’s approved visitation list either by personal or inmate request before placing them on the list of another offender.
7. All visitation applications are subject to NCIC background checks.
SPECIAL VISITS:
The Warden/designee may approve special visits for persons on or not on the inmate’s approved list. Special visits are only to be requested during that particular units scheduled visitation period where the inmate is requesting the visit. All special visits requests are to be submitted to the Associate Warden of Security at least seven (7) days prior to the requested visit.
Attorneys may be granted visitation privileges upon request as approved by the Warden/designee and are exempt from the seven (7) day notification requirement. All requests for special visitations shall go through the Unit Manager of that particular unit.
Types of special visits which may be approved are as follows:

A. Visitors who have traveled a great distance (200 miles or more) and/or do not visit on a regular basis
B. Children as part of a special program to promote family bonding
C. Attorneys and their representatives such as; investigators, paralegals and law students
D. Prospective employers, sponsors or parole advisors
E. Physicians, psychiatrist, or other health professionals
F. Persons significant to the inmate for purposes of crisis intervention
G. Official visitors
H. Immediate family members who are under visitation suspension when the inmate is terminally/critically ill

VOLUNTEER VISITATION:
This program functions as a separate entity from the regular visitation program.
A. Although locally coordinated and monitored by the institutional volunteer coordinator and more globally by the Director of Volunteer Services in Central Office, the Warden maintains control and responsibility for this program.
B. Recruitment, orientation and assignment of volunteers are handled by the volunteer coordinator.
C. The volunteer coordinator, following orientation and assignment, shall submit the names of volunteers who are to visit with the respective organization to the Associate Warden of Security.
D. Persons participating in volunteer visitation shall not be placed on an inmate’s visitation list.
DRESS CODE:
A. Visitors are encouraged to dress casually and in comfortable attire that is not provocative or offensive to others. In accordance with TDOC policy 507.01, the following guidelines will apply.

1. Clothing shall fit in an appropriate manner. Clothing that appears to be too large or too small for the wearer creates obvious gaps, exposure or would present a hazard to the wearer shall be rejected.
2. Visitors must wear undergarments. For female visitors, undergarments include bras and panties. No articles of clothing can contain any metal/underwire; these items will not pass the metal detector. A slip is required under dresses or skirts, unless the garment is made of a dense, non-transparent fabric, (samples of inappropriate undergarments are thongs, an underwire bra and water bras to name a few).
3. Appropriate footwear that provides basic foot protection shall be required. Open toe shoes or sandals are permitted; however, all shoes must have some sort of backing on them. Steel-toed shoes, shower shoes and flip flops are not to be worn.
4. Shorts or skirts are permitted provided the leg is covered within three (3) inches above the knee in a standing position, with the garment worn in the position in which it is intended to be worn.
5. Dresses or skirts- with slit – the slit must not exceed three (3) inches above the knee. No dress, skirt, shorts, etc. should have any slits in the front enclosure or seam of the garment.

B. The following types of clothing are specifically prohibited. Jackets or other “coverings” will not be permitted in order to cover any of the listed items below or any other infractions.

1. Spandex or spandex type garments.
2. Any clothing that is transparent or translucent in nature.
3. Sleeveless shirts or strapless dresses, or any clothing that exposes a bare chest, upper arms or midriff.
4. Backless/wraparound dresses, skirts, blouses, Jackets or other “covering” will not be permitted in order to cover these above areas.
5. Any camouflage type attire (even just a small amount, or as an accent color).
6. Clothing with logos that contain pictures, slogans, vulgarity, tobacco/alcohol references or those that contain signs or symbols of any security threat groups (STG), or any clothing determined by the processing officer to be associated with any STG. The association may be made by color combinations, designs or logos affixed to the clothing or even the manner in which it is worn.
7. Cut off pants/shorts of any kind. No fraying is allowed.
8. Any garment which has rips in them, manufactured that way or personalized, for example; holes in the knees or buttocks of pants, t-shirt with the neckline cut out.
9. Bandannas of any kind.

C. Prosthesis, artificial limbs (plastic or other substances), cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators shall be allowed, but a doctor’s note may be required in order to show proof of the medical issue.
D. During the winter months, visitors will be allowed to dress according to the weather; however, an excessive amount of clothing will not be tolerated. For example – a person would be allowed to wear an undershirt, a long-sleeved shirt and then a sweater – but more than one sweatshirt or more than one pair of pants is unacceptable.
ALLOWABLE ITEMS:
Visitors are not allowed to bring any item in his/her hands, pockets, person or clothing into the Institution except the following:
A. Debitek cards are not to be taken to units 1 and 3, food items are not permitted in these units.
B. The following baby items needed for the care of the child:

1. Standard sized baby blanket
2. Three (3) diapers per baby
3. Three (3) plastic baby bottles per baby with milk/juice
4. Two (2) unopened/sealed plastic baby food containers per child with a plastic spoon
5. Five (5) sealed, individual packaged alcohol-free baby wipes

C. Valid Identification (ID): Any original method of identification with photograph issued by a local, state or federal agency by which to identify a particular individual.
D. Keys

1. Vehicle key only – Sensor-type key(s) shall be permitted only when the sensor is an attached part of the key.

SECURITY SEARCHES:
A. All persons and vehicles entering the prison grounds are subject to search at any time. Drug K-9s may be used during the vehicle searches. Drugs and alcohol are prohibited, violators will be prosecuted.
B. Visitors shall not enter any area of the institution, except approved visitation areas and approved routes to and from those areas.
C. All visitors shall be frisk searched routinely as approved by policy. Strip searches and visual body cavity searches shall be authorized by the Warden.
D. SOTER-RS Body Scanner may be used for detection of contraband on ALL staff and visitors with the exception of the following groups:

1. Woman who are or think they may be pregnant
2. Persons with a pacemaker
3. Persons under 16 years of age

E. Any visitor that refuses to submit to any type of search shall be denied entrance and ordered to leave state property.

1. The Warden could, thereafter, consider suspending visitation privileges
2. A written Memorandum detailing the visitor’s refusal shall be prepared by the staff member involved and forwarded to the Warden and Associate Warden of Security.

F. Prior to each visit, the Correctional Officer at Checkpoint shall ensure that the visitor is registered as a guest, has signed his or her name and documented the name of the inmate they are visiting. Each visitor must provide bona fide identification on each and every visit.
G. All visitors shall have the tops of their left hands stamped with the invisible ink upon entrance through checkpoint/institution and shall have their hands verified prior to exiting the institutional grounds.
H. All frisk or body searches shall be conducted by employees of the same gender as the visitor. All visitors must pass through the walk through metal detector and the Cellsense tower unless they can present documentation from a physician that specifies a particular illness, presence of a prosthetic device or any other issue that would negate the detectors findings. Such documentation shall be placed in the inmate's visitation file. Each visitor will be given three (3) attempts to clear the detectors before they will be denied entry into the facility.
I. All searches of persons under the age of 18 must be done in the presence of the parent or guardian.
J. If any contraband items such as money, tobacco, tobacco products, gum, candy or toys are found in the visitor’s possession after they pass through the metal detector, they will be denied entry and a report will be sent to the Warden documenting the incident.
VISITATION RULES:
A. Visitation areas are provided for the inmates and their guests in such a way that there is reasonable ease and informality of communication in a natural environment, as free from security restraints as is safely possible. The areas shall allow for publicly accepted physical contact during the visitation such as holding hands, an arm across the shoulder with hands clearly visible. Upon entering or exiting the visitation area the inmate and their guest(s) are permitted to briefly embrace and kiss. For this purpose, briefly is defined as twenty (20) seconds or less. At no other instance shall this type of displays of affection be allowed.
B. Vending machines may be furnished in the main visitation gallery. Inmates are not allowed to take food items back to the units with them. No money is permitted in the visitation area, Debitek cards are the only approved means available in order to purchase items from the machines.
C. Debitek cards can be purchased at the checkpoint area and cost $5.00 each – with a credit of $3.00. After the initial purchase you can reload up to $55.00 at one time. Inmates are not allowed to have possession of the Debitek card at all during the visit.
D. Inmates and visitors will remain seated during contact visits, chairs will remain as positioned and the only allowed movement is to or from the vending machines or the restrooms.
E. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an approved visitor who is the child’s parent, legal guardian or guardian.
F. Any children, under the age of eighteen (18) must be escorted to the restrooms.
G. Children may not be left alone/unattended in the RMSI parking lot/building or other institutional areas.
H. The main visitation gallery and the contact visitation areas of Units 2 and 4 have toys available for the children. The toys must be returned to the designated area after the children are finished playing with them.
I. During an institutional emergency, visitation may be cancelled as deemed appropriate by the Warden.
J. Visitors found with contraband, which is a violation of the law, are subject to be detained until local law enforcement officers arrive. The violators visiting privileges are subject to suspension at the discretion of the Warden.
K. Any individual who is or appears to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will be denied visitation.
L. Inappropriate or socially unacceptable physical contact and/or behavior will not be tolerated between inmates and visitors.
M. There are separate bathrooms for inmates and visitors. Please use the correct one.
N. Passing any items from visitor to the inmate or vice versa is not allowed at any time, this may include but not limited to pictures, correspondence or articles of clothing.
O. No visitor shall be admitted through the pedestrian checkpoint during the last thirty (30) minutes of a visiting period, regardless of where the visit is to occur.
P. ALL visitors/inmates must be cleared out of the visitation area by 3:30 p.m. on Saturday/Sunday and 8:00 p.m. on Mondays. No exceptions.
CONDUCT OF VISITORS:
Visitors are expected to conduct themselves in such a manner that their behavior is not offensive to other visitors, inmates or employees. Visits may be terminated or denied for the following reasons:

A. Provocative comments
B. Profanity
C. Cursing or threatening other individuals whether inmate, staff or visitor, etc.
D. Pushing or attempting to strike another person
E. Harassment of other persons such as inmates, staff or other visitors
F. Attempting to bring in items which are not permitted or leaving items which are not permitted
G. Excessive kissing, petting or fondling
H. Failure to control children
I. Displaying of security threat group (STG – gang-related)

DENIAL, TERMINATION, AND SUSPENSION OF VISITS:
A. DENIALS MAY OCCUR IF:

1. The visitor refuses to show or cannot provide proper/approved identification
2. The visitor refuses to comply with a search
3. The visitor is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or shows disruptive behavior
4. The visitor violates the visitation rules and regulations
5. The visitor is caught with contraband
6. Inappropriately dressed
7. The visitor displays security threat group STG (Gang related) symbols or affiliations
8. The visitor arrives for visitation at an unscheduled time regarding the inmate's visitation hours
9. There is insufficient space for further visiting
10. The visitor is unable to successfully pass the metal detector or cell sense tower by their third try. Only three (3) attempts are allowed per person per visit.

B. TERMINATIONS OF VISITS MAY OCCUR IF:

1. The visitor violates visitation conduct rules
2. The visitor fails to control children
3. The visitor and inmate engage in publicly unacceptable physical contact and/or behavior

C. SUSPENSIONS MAY OCCUR IF:
Other than being a part of the institutional disciplinary procedures, only the Warden can suspend visitation privileges. In addition to suspending the visitor involved in the incident, the Warden may have cause to suspend all visitors from an inmate’s list; it is believed to be a risk to the safety and security of the institution or any persons. When such an action, if taken, the Warden shall provide written justification for the record and provides notice to any and all individuals suspended. Such notice may be limited in information in order to protect the Institution/persons. Total suspension will be reviewed in six (6) months to determine who may be removed from the suspension list, and reinstated. Visiting privileges may be suspended in accordance with the timeframes listed below for any reason for up to 12 months; including, but not limited to, the following reasons.

1. Visitor(s) and/or inmate have become intoxicated during the visit - 12-months and up to the termination
2. Visitor repeatedly violates visitation rules – 6 months
3. Visitor(s) exhibit(s) behaviors and actions, which in the Warden’s opinion, could jeopardize the security of the Institution – 12 months
4. Inappropriate sexual contact – 12 months

The following violations lead to suspensions of twelve (12) months or more and up to termination:

1. Attempting to introduce controlled substances or firearms into the institution, including concealment of weapons or controlled substances, this includes any mitigating circumstances - such as any traces of a controlled substance found in a vehicle in such a way, not appearing to be concealed, may warrant a lesser visitation suspension penalty.
2. A visitor who is arrested shall be suspended pending disposition of the case which may include any conviction, disposition, incarceration, parole or probation. Reinstatement of privileges will require the submission of a new application.

D. When a visit is denied or terminated, a detailed report will be prepared by the officer involved in or who witnessed the action. The report then is forwarded to the Warden.

E. In all cases when inmates test positive for and/or are in possession of illegal drugs, or refuse to comply with a request for a drug screen, the Warden shall modify the inmate’s visits. With the exception of ministers and attorneys, according to the following:

1. 1st Offense – Suspension of visits for six (6) months
2. Subsequent Offenses – Visits shall be suspended for an additional six (6) month periods.
3. Exceptions – Following a period of restriction of 12 months or more – inmates who continue to violate rules regarding substance abuse and risk lengthy visitation restrictions shall be given consideration by the Warden for limited and restricted visits by one (1) or two (2) members of the IMMEDIATE family (or a significant friend in absence of immediate family member) who might be instrumental in convincing the inmate to seek help and to comply with the substance abuse regulations.
4. The penalty may also be considered for reduction if the inmate successfully completes the substance abuse program.

PROPERTY, MAIL, CORRESPONDENCE:

A. Visitors are not allowed to deliver packages, cards, letters, printed materials, etc. – all of these items will have to be mailed to the inmate.
B. Visitors may pick up inmate property that is being sent out such as stereos, TV’s, arts and crafts, etc. on weekdays between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm – excluding holidays.

SCHEDULE FOR VISITATION BY AREA/CLASSIFICATION

General Population Units 5&6

  • Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Monday Evening (Those that did not visit Saturday or Sunday) 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • State Legal Holidays (Determined by the Associate Warden of Security)

Administrative Segregation/Protective Custody/Safekeepers/ Close Custody Units 1, 3, & 4
Saturday (Week 1)

  • A pod* 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • B pod* 12:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sunday (Week 1)

  • C pod* 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • D pod* 12:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Monday Evening (Those that did not visit Saturday or Sunday)

  • 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Saturday (Week 2)

  • D pod* 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • C pod* 12:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sunday (Week 2)
B pod* 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
A pod* 12:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Monday Evening (Those that did not visit Saturday or Sunday) 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
State Legal Holidays (Determined by the Associate Warden of Security)
*Pods alternate every other week
Death Row Unit 2

  • Saturday (A pod and Lower Walk B pod)* 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday (D pod and Upper Walk B pod)* 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Monday Evening (Those that did not visit Saturday or Sunday) 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • State Legal Holidays (Determined by the Associate Warden of Security)

*Pods alternate every other week

Due to lack of space in visitation galleries it may be necessary to limit the duration of visits.

A. Segregation Units
Visits in the segregation units 1 and 3 are NON-CONTACT and for a period of not more than two (2) hours. Inmates on Administrative Segregation are allowed visits once every two weeks with up to (2) immediate family members. All Administrative Segregation visits are by appointment only and must be approved by the Unit Manager. Inmates on Punitive Segregation are not allowed visits.
B. Infirmary Inmates
Inmates housed in Institutional Infirmary may visit at the above designated time according to their respective custody level with the approval of the Associate Warden of Security, Medical/Mental Health personnel.
C. Transient Inmates
Inmates, who are in transient status, shall NOT be allowed any visitation for two (2) weeks (Attorneys and clergy are exempt). The Warden may allow special visits at the end of the two (2) weeks but only for immediate family members.
D. Outside Hospital
Inmates that are patients in an outside hospital shall not be allowed visits unless the hospital and the Warden/designee approves the visit when the hospitalization exceeds two (2) weeks with a continuous duration or the inmate is in critical condition. The following rules shall apply to those visits:
*If more restrictive, hospital rules are paramount.

VISITATION
PURPOSE: To establish Departmental guidelines governing the visiting of inmates.

APPLICATION: To the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, institutional employees, employees of privately managed facilities, Tennessee Rehabilitative Initiative in Correction (TRICOR) employees, interns, practicum students, and inmates, excluding any offender assigned to and actively participating in a Special Alternative Incarceration Unit (SAIU) program or the parole/probation violator program.

DEFINITIONS:
A. Child: Anyone under the age of 18 years.
B. Contraband: Any item that is not permitted by law or is expressly prohibited by Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) or institutional policy(ies).
C. Guardian: A person authorized by a child's custodial parent or legal guardian to be responsible for a child while visiting a correctional institution. This authorization shall be evidenced by a notarized statement from the custodial parent or legal guardian submitted to the institution for file.
D. Immediate Family: Mother, father, husband, wife, children, grandchildren, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, half-siblings, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-inlaw, mother-in-law, father-in-law. Stepparents may be considered within this definition. Stepchildren may also be considered immediate family if the offender and his/her spouse were married prior to the current incarceration and the spouse's children were minors who resided in the home, shared by the inmate and spouse, on a regular basis at the time of incarceration.
E. Legal Guardian: A person appointed by the court to provide partial or full supervision, protection, and assistance of the person of a minor, as evidenced by a certified copy of a court order.
F. Official Visitor: Employees of the TDOC, other governmental agencies, or private sector who are conducting business at the institution.
G. Prostheses: Any artificial limbs, cardiac pacemakers or defibrillators, or any other related artificial devices intended to replace or augment a missing or impaired part of the body. H. Restrictive Housing: The purposeful separation of inmates from the general inmate population in confinement or housing where measures are taken to provide maximum security and/or to control their circumstances or circumscribe their freedom. This general status is for either punitive or administrative reasons.
I. Toddler/Infant: Any child age five or below.
J. Transient Inmates: Inmates who are temporarily (not exceeding 60 days) in the in-house count of a receiving institution and in the assigned count of a sending institution.
K. Valid Identification (ID): Any original method of identification with photograph issued by a local, state, or federal agency by which to identify a particular individual.
L. Visitor: Person who has completed application/approval process for permission to visit an offender.

POLICY:
TDOC supports visitation as a part of the overall rehabilitation process; and encourages positive involvement with the family. Eligible inmates shall be allowed visitation privileges within the following guidelines. Inmates in an SAIU, Technical Violator, Special Management Unit (SMU) are permitted visitation privileges under more restrictive arrangements as specified in the institutional policy as sanctioned by TDOC.

PROCEDURES:
A. Guidelines
1. Local rules pertaining to visiting shall be available to all staff, inmates, and visitors. a. In addition to continual posting in an area accessed by visitors, a visitor's handbook shall be produced and made available for new applicants who provide a self-addressed stamped envelope with their application. Additional copies will be available at checkpoint.
(1) The visitor's handbook shall include the following statement: "Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
(2) The visitors’ handbook shall contain information detailing available avenues of complaint regarding alleged Title VI violations, including methods for contacting the local Title VI Site Coordinator, the Human Rights Commission, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
(3) A poster regarding Title VI compliance and complaint information shall be posted on bulletin boards in visitation areas at each institution.
b. Whenever possible, visitation policies or procedural changes should be posted on bulletin boards, announced to inmate council, and published in inmate newspapers 30 days in advance.
2. Visitation areas should have facilities accessible to handicapped visitors, including restrooms and entrance ramps to the visitation area.
3. Each institution shall be responsible for providing information to visitors about possible transportation to the institution and directions on how to reach the facility
B. Approval and List
1. A list of approved visitors shall be recorded during each inmate's initial classification.
2. Blank copies of Visitation Application, CR-2152, shall be furnished to all inmates, with written instructions that prospective visitors shall complete and return the forms with a current photograph to the Deputy Superintendent/Associate Warden in charge of visitation within 30 days. Applications should be approved or denied within 30 days of receipt.
3. No visitor shall be admitted for visitation until the application is approved, except for immediate family visitors of newly committed inmates. In such instances, the Warden shall have the names of the inmate's immediate family members added to the approved visitor's list, until receipt and approval of the visitation application. (No more than 60 days from inmate intake date shall be allowed for this purpose.)
4. Inmates housed at the diagnostic centers awaiting classification and/or transfer to their assigned institution shall only receive visits from their immediate family members.
5. If the Warden’s/Superintendent’s designee approves the applicant visitor, the name shall be entered into TOMIS conversation (LIML) Visitor. The Warden/Superintendent shall make the final decision when an applicant is initially disapproved by a designated reviewer. The inmate shall receive notification within 30 days of receipt of the application as to whether or not his/her visitor is approved. If disapproved, a reason(s) shall be noted. It shall then be the inmate's responsibility to advise the visitation applicant of the approval or denial. The inmate may appeal disapproval through the grievance procedure. (See Policy #501.01)
6. Approval of visitors shall be at the discretion of the Warden/Superintendent, in accordance with the following guidelines:
a. All immediate family members who apply and eight additional adults may be approved to visit an inmate upon receipt of Visitor Application, CR-2152.
b. Every visitor, regardless of age, shall have an approved visitation application on file. All visitors who are currently on approved lists but do not have visitor applications on file, shall submit an updated application within 6 months of the effective date of this policy.
c. Children age six and older shall have a photograph (not a photocopy) attached to their visitor application. These photographs will be updated at ages 10, 14, and 18. Updated photographs may be requested more frequently if there have been significant changes in the child’s appearance
d. Children under 18 years of age may visit provided they are accompanied by their parent, legal guardian, or guardian who is also on the inmate's approved visiting list. Identification is not required for children under the age of 16 years: however, a copy of the birth certificate and CR-2152 with a recent picture must be on file. The custodial parent or legal guardian must provide a completed and notarized Parental Consent/Release for Minor’s Visitation Form (CR-2152, page 2), which designates permission for the assigned visitors (as guardians) to accompany the child to visit and consent for the child to be searched.
e. The requirements of (d) above do not apply if a visitor is under the age of 18 and legally married to the inmate they are visiting. Proof of marriage must be provided.
f. Members of the clergy, as recognized by the chaplain or Warden/Superintendent, need not be placed on the Approved Visitors List.
g. Attorneys of record need not be placed on the Approved Visitors List.
h. Persons the Warden/Superintendent determines could have a harmful influence on the inmate and/or may constitute a threat to the security of the institution shall not be approved for visitation. This information shall be entered on E-TOMIS conversation LIMM under Visitor Concerns.
i. The following will apply for persons with past criminal felony convictions:
(1) Only immediate family members with active felony conviction records may submit a visitor application for approval six months following release from incarceration or placement on probation/community corrections or parole supervision (written consent of supervising officer/counselor is required).
(2) The Warden/Superintendent may disapprove visitation applications of immediate family members with felony convictions if it is believed that the security of the institution or safety of individuals could be jeopardized. This information shall be entered on E-TOMIS conversation LIMM under Visitor Concerns.
j. The following will apply to former employees:
(1) Current or former employees of TDOC, TRICOR or contract agency service, or contract agencies (in Tennessee), interns, and practicum students shall not be approved unless they are immediate family members of inmate.
(a) If the person’s separation from TDOC/TRICOR or contract agency service was due to a violation of state law, e.g., trafficking in contraband whether or not prosecution occurred, visitation requests will not be considered, even if the employee has become an immediate family member.
(b) If the person’s separation from TDOC/TRICOR or contract agency service was the result of a violation of Policy #305.03, Employee/Offender Interaction, visitation requests will not be considered, even if that individual has become an immediate family member.
(c) If the person’s separation from TDOC/TRICOR or contract agency service was voluntary and not due to the events as described in (a) and (b) above, the individual may submit an application for consideration after 48 months from the date of TDOC separation.
(d) If a person’s separation from TDOC/TRICOR or contract agency service was completely voluntary with no policy violation and the person is currently married to the inmate, visitation requests shall also not be considered for a period of 12 months from the date of the marriage to the inmate, nor for a period of 48 months from the date of separation. If the former employee worked at the facility where visitation would occur, visitation will not be allowed.
(2) Former TDOC/TRICOR employees, on visitation list as of October 1, 1998, shall be allowed to remain on the list. k. All sections of the CR-2152 shall be completed. If any falsification of the CR-2152 occurs by a visitor applicant, the visitor applicant shall not be allowed to resubmit a visitor application for a minimum of six months. This information shall be entered on E-TOMIS conversation LIMM under Visitor Concerns.
l. Persons participating, or those who have participated, as volunteers may be considered for visitation approval following a period of 24 months from the conclusion of the volunteer effort.
m. Visitors may be approved for placement on only one inmate’s visiting list unless there are additional incarcerated immediate family members and the relationships can be substantiated. In the event that sibling inmates are incarcerated at the same facility, immediate family members may visit those inmates at the same time at the discretion of the Warden/Superintendent.
n. Additions or substitutions to the approved list shall be made at least quarterly by the same application and approval system cited above. Applications received seeking approval to visit an inmate, who is not yet eligible for a change to his/her list, shall be placed in the inmate’s visitation file with an explanation note regarding the eligibility date for re-submission. A copy of the explanation note shall be given to the inmate who then should notify the applicant. Applications shall be updated every two years (24 months).
o. When a visitor has been removed from a non-immediate family inmate’s list due to a request from the inmate or the visitor, there shall be a one year waiting period before that visitor may be placed on another non-immediate family inmate’s visiting list.
p. After inmates are released from TDOC custody or released to probation/parole, their currently approved visitors will be required to wait one year before being considered for placement on another inmate’s visitation list that is not an immediate family member.
C. Guidelines for inmates under conviction for sex-related offenses against children:
1. An offender with a current or previous conviction for a crime involving a sexual offense against a minor is restricted from having contact visits with children under the age of 18, except under the guidelines set forth in a duly signed and witnessed Contact Visitation with Minors Agreement, CR-3619. 2. The Warden/Superintendent/designee will ensure that this form is executed for all inmates with these types of convictions, regardless of the date they entered TDOC custody. The form will be completed as a part of the classification process.
3. Inmates who refuse to sign CR-3619 shall be restricted to non-contact visits with children.
4. Any observed or reported contact of a sexual nature with a child by an inmate shall be immediately reported by the Warden/Superintendent/designee to the local Department of Children’s Services, and Child Protective Services Division.
5. A victim of an inmate convicted of a sex offense will not be permitted to visit the inmate unless specifically approved by the Warden, and then only non-contact visits shall be allowed.
D. File 1. All application files received from visitor applicants shall be maintained in the visitation file, clearly marked approved or disapproved with the signatures of the Warden/Superintendent/designee. 2. All visitation files shall subsequently be transferred as a part of the inmate's institutional record whenever the inmate is assigned to a different institution. (See Policy #403.01.1) The receiving Warden/Superintendent shall contact the sending Warden/Superintendent if visitation files have not been received within 15 days. If these files have not been received within 30 days, the receiving Warden/Superintendent shall notify the Assistant Commissioner of Prisons via electronic mail. 3. Each institution shall maintain a record of the names of all visitors admitted to the institution to visit inmates. This record will be maintained in a bound logbook separate from the inmate’s visitation file and shall remain at the institution where visit occurred. The logbook will be maintained for a period of three years. Visitor arrivals and departures shall be entered into TOMIS conversation (LIMM) Visitor History.
E. Schedule
1. The Warden/Superintendent shall establish a routine schedule of visiting which shall include Saturdays, Sundays, and the following holidays that are recognized as being state holidays:
a. New Year’s Day
b. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
c. President’s Day
d. Good Friday
e. Memorial Day
f. Independence Day
g. Labor Day
h. Thanksgiving Day *
i. Christmas Day *
*Visitation on additional days accompanying Thanksgiving/Christmas Day will be determined by the Commissioner.
2. A schedule of state holidays shall be posted on a bulletin board that is accessible to visitors. 3. The visitation schedule shall also include one evening per week to allow visiting privileges for those inmates unable to visit on weekends. This should not be construed as allowing a visitor to visit both on the regularly scheduled weekend/holiday schedule and the evening visitation. Institutional space and personnel resources and schedule should be the only reasons to limit the number of visitors or length of visits. The Warden/Superintendent, or designee, may approve other times for visitation due to unusual circumstances. Hours of visits should not interfere with the inmate’s work, education, or vocational training schedules.
4. The Warden/Superintendent or designee may approve the following types of special visits for persons on or not on the inmate’s approved list. If absolutely necessary, they may be approved for hours other than those regularly scheduled for visitation. Approved/disapproved special visiting requests will be placed in the inmate's visitation file.
a. Visitors who have traveled 200 miles or more and/or do not visit on a regular basis (at the Warden’s/Superintendent’s discretion)
b. Children, as part of a special program to promote family bonding
c. Attorneys (See Policy #105.09). Privately managed facilities shall refer to their corporate policy regarding attorneys.
d. Prospective employers, sponsors, or parole advisors e. Physicians, psychiatrists, or other health professionals (See Policy #113.30)
f. Persons significant to the inmate for purposes of crisis intervention
g. Official visitors
h. Immediate family members who are under visitation suspension when the inmate is terminally/critically ill.
5. The visitation schedule for segregated inmates should accommodate the number of visitors, length, and frequency of visits mandated by Policy #506.16.
6. Inmates assigned to restrictive housing units may be allowed visits at the Warden’s/Superintendent’s discretion. These inmates may visit in an area within the unit or may visit as scheduled with the general population. Institutional policy or procedures shall also establish visitation guidelines for protective custody inmates.
7. During an institutional emergency, visitation may be canceled as deemed appropriate by the Warden/Superintendent.
F. Security
1. Inmates in the regular visiting gallery shall be allowed brief physical contact (i.e., holding hands, kissing, and embracing) at the beginning and end of visitation.
2. The TDOC recognizes the value of family bonding in regards to the development of children (especially toddlers and infants). Visitation rules of each facility should therefore make reasonable allowances for some physical contact between parents and toddlers and infants. This allowance would apply to the natural or adoptive parent who has legal rights as a parent of a visiting infant or toddler. All visitors should expect that consideration for security may at times require that physical contact between parents and child be limited.
3. Visitors shall not enter any areas of the institution except for approved visitation areas and approved routes to and from those areas.
4. All visitors shall be searched as specified in Policy #506.06.
5. If contraband is found in the possession of a visitor, the contraband shall be confiscated and the visitor may be detained for law enforcement officials. These visitors shall be subject to possible felony prosecution as per TCA 39-16-201. If the visitor refuses to be detained, force should not be used to accomplish this. Vital information such as name, address, phone number, automobile make and model, description, license plate number and state of issue should be documented and provided to law enforcement officials. An incident report shall be submitted. (See Policy #103.02)
G. Denial, Termination, and Suspension of Visits
1. Any visitor may be denied entrance to the visiting area for any reason including, but not limited to:
a. Refusing to show proper identification
b. Refusing to submit to a search
c. Appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
d. Insufficient space for visiting
e. Possession of contraband
f. Inappropriate dress
g. Displaying of security threat group (STG) symbols or affiliation
h. Failure to clear the walk-through metal detector at any facility
2. Visits may only be terminated by the shift supervisor upon recommendation by the officer in charge of the visiting area; however, less restrictive measures are encouraged, such as warning the inmate and/or the visitor(s). Examples of reasons for warnings or termination include, but are not limited to:
a. Inmates or visitors who violate visitation conduct rules
b. Failure by visitors to control their children
3. Whenever a visit is denied or terminated, a detailed written report, including the name of the employee who witnessed the violation, shall be prepared by the official taking the action. A copy of the report shall be forwarded to the Warden/Superintendent, who will determine whether the action is warranted.
4. Other than as specified in Policy #502.01, only the Warden/Superintendent can suspend visitation privileges. In addition to suspending a visitor involved in misconduct, the Warden/Superintendent may have cause to suspend all visitors from an inmate’s list if it is believed there may be risk to the institution’s security or to the safety of individuals. When such action is taken, the Warden/Superintendent shall provide written justification for the record and provide notice to the individuals suspended. Such notice may be limited to protect the security of the institution or safety of individuals. An action of total suspension shall be reviewed within six months to determine when and who among the visitors may be reinstated. Visiting privileges may be suspended in accordance within the timeframes listed below for any reason, including, but not limited to, the following:
a. Visitor(s) and/or inmate have become intoxicated during the visit - 12 months and up to termination (strong justification is required for termination.)
b. Visitor repeatedly violated visiting rules - six months
c. Visitor continually failed to control children - six months
d. Inappropriate sexual contact - 12 months
5. In the following cases, a visitor may be suspended for a period from 12 months up to and including permanent restriction:
a. Attempting to introduce controlled substances or firearms into the institution, including concealment of weapons or controlled substances, in such a manner in the visitor’s vehicle that gives an indication of a possible attempt to introduce the contraband into the facility. Mitigating circumstances, such as traces of a controlled substance found in a vehicle in such manner not appearing to be concealed, may warrant a lesser visitation suspension penalty.
b. A visitor, who is arrested, shall be suspended pending disposition of the case which may include any conviction, disposition, e.g., incarceration, probation, or parole. Reinstatement of privileges will require submission of a new application.
c. Visitor(s) who exhibit behaviors and actions, which, in the Warden’s/Superintendent’s opinion, could jeopardize the security of the institution
6. In all instances where inmates test positive for and/or are in possession of illegal drugs, or refuse to comply with a request for a drug screen, in addition to appropriate disciplinary actions, the Warden/Superintendent shall modify the inmate’s visits, with the exception of ministers and attorneys, according to the following:
a. First Offense - Visits shall be suspended for three months.
b. Subsequent Offenses - Visits shall be suspended for additional three-month periods.
c. Following a period of visitation restriction of 12 months, inmates who continue to violate rules regarding substance abuse and risk lengthy visitation restrictions shall be given consideration by the Warden/Superintendent for limited and restricted visits by one or two members of the immediate family (or significant friend in the absence of immediate family) who may be instrumental in convincing the inmate to seek help and to comply with substance abuse regulations. These procedures shall be incorporated into the facility’s visitation policy.
d. The penalty may also be considered for reduction if the inmate successfully completes substance abuse programming.
7. In all instances where an inmate’s visits are suspended for any reason, such as drug conviction, sexual misconduct, etc., Visitation (LIMM) shall be modified to reflect this action. The reason for the suspension will be properly coded on the Visitation (LIMM) “Offender Concerns” screen and the beginning and ending dates will also be entered. This will be completed for each approved visitor on the list. Should the suspension reason be associated with a specific incident, the incident number will also be entered.
8. Copies of written notices to inmates and visitors, in all cases of visitation suspension, shall be placed in the inmates’ visitation files
H. Institutional Clinic: Inmates who are patients in the institutional infirmary shall be allowed visits in a time, place, and manner as scheduled by the Warden/Superintendent/designee on a regular basis, provided that the attending physician/health provider allows it.
I. Outside Hospital
1. Inmates who are patients in community hospitals shall not be allowed visits, unless:
a. The hospitalization exceeds two weeks continuous duration, or
b. The inmate is in critical condition or terminally ill
c. The Warden/Superintendent/designee approves the visit
2. In accordance with hospital policy, children may be allowed to visit if accompanied by an adult who has been approved by the facility and it is in accordance with hospital policy.
3. Visitation shall be restricted to two visitations per week unless the inmate is critical and a maximum of one-half hour per day per approved visitor during established hospital visitation hours, unless further restricted by the attending physician.
4. Hospital visiting rules as well as TDOC rules are to be obeyed.
5. No gifts, food, or packages shall be allowed for inmate patients.
6. Visits shall be subject to termination and/or suspension under the same criteria as with institutional visits.
7. The officer(s) in charge shall maintain a log of names of each visitor, time of arrival, and time of departure. That log shall become part of the record referenced in Section VI.(D)(3) above.
J. Transient Inmates: Inmates who are in transient status, shall not be allowed any visitation for two weeks. (Attorneys and clergy are exempt) The Warden/Superintendent may allow special visits at the end of the two weeks but only for immediate family members.
K. Visitation Areas 1. All institution visits (to include persons with disabilities) shall take place in areas designated by the Warden/Superintendent. The area should allow reasonable ease of communication between inmates and their visitors.
a. Minimum custody inmates should be given the most flexibility and choices about areas for visitation.
b. Maximum and close custody inmates at Level 4 custody facilities shall be restricted to more secure areas for visiting due to supervision requirements.
c. Attorneys and inmate clients shall, upon request, be afforded privacy for their visits.
d. Cooking at minimum-security annexes may be permitted once a week (Saturday or Sunday) during these months. The Warden/Superintendent shall develop procedures that will specify food items and allowable amounts when cooking is permitted. These procedures must be approved by the Assistant Commissioner of Prisons prior to implementation. The amount of food permitted must be in proportion to the number of persons visiting the inmate. Inmates convicted of Class A disciplinary infractions shall not be allowed to visit in these areas for a minimum of two months subsequent to the conviction. e. At the Warden’s/Superintendent’s discretion, the outside visitation areas for minimum custody inmates may be operated from April 1 through October 31. No food items, except institutional vending machine food, are approved for consumption on the outside visiting area during this time period, except during weekends where cooking is permitted.
2. Vending machines may be furnished in visitation areas.
L. Property of Visitors
1. Except for privileged official visitors or as specified in Policy #507.02, visitors shall not be allowed to deliver any items to inmates.
2. Facilities utilizing the debit card system for vending machines will not permit any monies into the visitation area.
3. Electronic communication devices are prohibited.
4. Visitors shall not be allowed to bring any items into visitation areas except:
a. Baby items (i.e. diapers, formula, unopened sealed baby food, etc.)
b. Car keys
c. Identification card
5. All other items shall be placed by the visitor either in institution lockers, where provided, or in their private cars. M. Dress Code for Visitors, Official Visitors, and Volunteers
1. Persons entering TDOC facilities should be encouraged to dress comfortably and in casual attire; however, they shall be expected to comply with the following basic dress requirements. Wardens may further define these requirements in local policy.
a. Clothing shall fit in an appropriate manner. Clothing appearing to be too large or too small for the wearer, which creates obvious gaps or exposure, or would present a hazard to the wearer will be rejected by the shift supervisor.
b. Visitors must wear undergarments. (Examples of undergarments deemed inappropriate are thongs and water brassieres.)
c. Appropriate footwear to provide basic foot protection shall be required while on institutional grounds. Open toe shoes or sandals are permitted. Steel-toed shoes, shower shoes, and flip-flops, are prohibited. d. Shorts or skirts are permitted provided the leg is covered to within three inches above the knee in a standing position with the garment worn in the position in which it is intended to be worn.
2. The below listed types of clothing are specifically prohibited throughout the year:
a. Garments manufactured from spandex or spandex-type fabrics
b. Any clothing that is transparent or translucent in nature
c. Sleeveless shirts and blouses
d. Dresses or clothing exposing a bare chest or midriff
e. Camouflage attire
f. Worn or tattered clothing with holes
g. Clothing with logos that contain pictures, slogans, vulgarity, tobacco/alcohol references, or contain signs or symbols of security threat groups (STG), or any clothing determined by the processing officer to be associated with any STG. The association may be made by color combination, designs, or logos affixed to the clothing, or the manner in which the clothing is worn.
h. Splits in dresses or skirts that extend three inches above the knee, or slits which cause the entire dress or skirt to be above three inches above the knee, will not be permitted.
i. Bandannas
3. Visitors may not wear excessive clothing such as two pairs of pants or an extra shirt under their top layer of clothing. This is necessary to prohibit the exchange of clothing between inmates and visitors.
4. Prosthesis, artificial limbs (plastic or other substances), and cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators shall be allowed and the visitor may be required to present a doctor’s statement regarding the item.
N. Institutions with closed circuit television, with recording capabilities, shall operate the recorders continuously during visitation hours. All recordings will be retained at least one week. If the recordings reveal criminal activities, disciplinary offenses, or activities resulting in inmate grievances, those recordings will be maintained until the resolution of the disciplinary, criminal proceeding, lawsuit, or grievance. Recordings, along with Chain of Custody, CR-3255, shall be maintained/secured in the office of the Associate/Assistant Warden of Security or Deputy Superintendent where applicable. O. TDOC visitation supervisors shall attend a special training program once a year at the Tennessee Correction Academy. P. Each institutional visitation handbook shall be submitted to the Deputy Commissioner of Operations for approval on or before April 1 of each year. The handbook shall contain at a minimum the following information:
1. Visitation days and hours
2. Number of visitors allowed
3. Duration of visits
4. Facility directions
5. Lodging accommodations in the area
6. Children’s area and rules
7. Picnic area
8. Restrooms
9. Dress code
10. Access to visitation area
11. NCIC background check information
12. Visitation rules
13. Transportation services
14. Complaint referrals
15. Title VI 16. Searches and contraband
17. Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
Q. Any visitor, volunteer, or invited guest participating in an event at the institution shall also adhere to all dress code expectations as mandated by this policy and institutional guidelines.
R. Inmate Kiosk Services (Video Visitation): Facilities with kiosk capabilities, inmates, and their visitor(s) shall follow the guidelines as set forth in Policy #507.03 for these services.